Edna Joanna Marilla Taylor, 95
Edna Joanna Marilla Taylor, 95, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Jan. 11, 2020, after a long illness. She was born Sept. 26, 1924, in her beloved hometown of Chatham, Va. She was “the baby” of the six children born to her parents, John and Lelia Marilla.
Taylor married Stan Taylor of Keyser, W.Va., who left soon after the wedding in 1944 for what he referred to as a “camping trip across Europe.”
In 1958, Edna and Stan moved to Ocean View, Del., with their five children. Anyone who knew Taylor at all knew she loved her children. She was known to brag a lot about their intelligence, good looks, musical ability and kindness. (No doubt she overdid the praise just a little.) However, because so many people loved “Miss Edna,” they would generously listen to accolades she bestowed upon her children.
Taylor was perhaps best known for her beautiful soprano voice, which graced the congregation of Mariner’s Bethel U.M. Church for more than 60 years, including Christmas and Easter cantatas, wedding ceremonies and funerals.
The only individual who could come close to guessing the number of these performances would be Taylor’s dear friend and piano accompanist, Ruth Davis. This talented, sweet lady will be playing the organ for Taylor’s funeral service.
Perhaps the lyrics of one of Taylor’s favorite songs can give insight into her love for singing: “I sing because I’m happy/I sing because I’m free./His eye is on the sparrow,/And I know he watches me.”
In 1964, Taylor began working for her friends, Ray and Sally Hickman, founders of Raymond Hickman Realty & Builders in Bethany Beach, Del. For nearly 40 years, she had a reputation for her willingness to go above and beyond for all of her clients. In fact, many of her renters and buyers became her lifelong friends and acquaintances, long after her retirement from real estate. The fact that she often made pineapple upside-down cake for her clients surely contributed to her reputation of kindness.
Taylor spread her love and light at Brandywine Assisted Living for many years. The love was returned to her by compassionate and generous staff, several of whom became like family to her.
She loved birds, winter sunsets and her flowers. She was a champion of the underdog. It would take a lot to make her angry, but if she felt that someone was being taken advantage of or mistreated, Taylor might just unleash her righteous indignation. She was small in physical size, but her intolerance of injustice was a force to be reckoned with.
Taylor was preceded in death by her grandson, Michael Petrellis, and her husband, Stanley Taylor Sr. She is survived by her five children and their families, John “Freddy” Taylor and his wife, Patti, Stan Taylor Jr. and his wife, Jill, Julie Taylor, Sarah Smith and her husband, Herbert, and Joe Taylor and his wife, Amy. She took great pride in her 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service and celebration of Taylor’s life will be held at noon, with visitation starting at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at Mariners Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View, Del. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, her family said they would appreciate memorial donations to The Michael Petrellis Memorial Scholarship Fund; 901 Morton Ave.; Folsom, PA 19033. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.